Whether due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, old age, or a health condition, you may be experiencing a leaking bladder or bowel. We understand this can be very difficult to talk about, but the good news is that there are ways to manage it so that you can get out into society and lead a normal life.
While speaking to your doctor about this is a necessary first step, you might also want to consider incontinence pads and pants to help to control the leakage. Whether you're experiencing faecal or urinary incontinence, we've prepared a guide to show the basic things to look for when buying products to deal with it, and we've also rounded up the best options available on Amazon, Boots, Tesco and more.
This guide outlines what to watch out for when purchasing products to help you cope with bladder and bowel problems. We briefly discuss factors to take into consideration while making your choice, such as absorbency ratings and design.
The style of incontinence product you opt for will depend on the type of incontinence, whether faecal or urinary, as well as the degree of intensity of the incontinence.
The majority of people who experience incontinence actually have just light urinary incontinence and will only ever need pads and nothing more. They are usually similar to the shape and fit of a menstrual pad and sit discreetly inside your underwear.
So if you experience occasional leaks of very small amounts, perhaps when you sneeze, cough or even laugh, or whenever you lift heavy weights and engage in high impact exercise, these do the job! Their low absorbency rating is sufficient for this degree of bladder leakage, as the small gush is contained within the absorbent pad.
This style is best suited to moderate-to-heavy urinary and/or faecal incontinence. All-in-ones provide the ultimate protection and are the best option for people with limited mobility. Some are anatomically shaped and are designed to be worn with mesh support pants or close-fitting underwear as they're bulkier than lighter pads.
On the other hand, others can be fastened to the body with fixation tabs or a belted feature for better security. All-in-ones have significantly better absorption ability than the smaller pads. Also, they can be worn for long hours or even overnight without the need for frequent changes.
Pull-up pants, sometimes also called adult nappies, also provide protection for moderate to heavy incontinence, especially the disposable ones. Designed just like your regular underwear, they're easy and quick to put on and take off.
This makes them a suitable option for fully mobile and independent people. Not only do they offer superior discreetness, they also allow for better freedom of movement, so they might be preferable for people with active lifestyles. You can look for specific men's and women's fits as you require.
You may also want to look into the volume the product can carry without leaking, to be sure that it can handle the level of severity of the incontinence you are experiencing. Watch out for the maximum level the product can hold, and select one with capacity in excess of the waste that you're likely to excrete.
Most products will be labelled with the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Total Absorbency measured in (ml), to help you compare brands and select the most appropriate one for your needs.
Light to moderate capacities range between 100 ml and about 900 ml, while anything above 1000 ml is great for heavier incontinence. However, never use a product to its full capacity as it will be saturated, causing the product to be damp, heavy and uncomfortable for you.
Most incontinence products are made of paper, and thus are disposable. However, there are a few reusable options that are cost-effective in the long run, some of which are made of materials such as cotton to provide a more normal underwear feel.
Disposables have better odour control and higher absorbency. Though the washable alternatives provide greater convenience and are less wasteful, they have little-to-no absorption protection and should only be used for light emergencies. More so, they are not designed for any form of faecal incontinence whatsoever!
Although it can be a little tricky providing a catch-all solution for your incontinence care, we've rounded up a great range of products that come in various shapes and sizes to meet your needs.
|Size||Large (40-42"), others available|
|Absorbency Capacity||250 ml|
|Size||S, M, L, XL, XXL (30-48")|
|Absorbency Capacity||338 ml|
|Absorbency Capacity||109 ml|
|Absorbency Capacity||2000 ml|
|Absorbency Capacity||1320 ml|
|Size||Medium (28-40"), Large (38-50")|
|Absorbency Capacity||1500 ml|
|Absorbency Capacity||2100 ml|
|Absorbency Capacity||900-1300 ml|
|Absorbency Capacity||3400 ml|
iD Expert Belt M Maxi
Incontinence Pants, Super
Discreet Incontinence Pads, Long
Abri-San Premium Special Air Plus
Dry & Light Slim Incontinence Pads
MoliMed for Men Active Pads
Male Washable Incontinence Pants
Waterproof Plastic Pants
A Belted All-In-One Perfect for People With Limited Mobility
A Body-Close Fit for Slim Men and Women
Dermatologically-Tested Pads That You Barely Feel
An Anatomically-Shaped Pad You Can Rely On
Discreet Pants for Men With Active Lifestyles
A Versatile, Heavy Duty Choice From a Popular Range
The Best Budget Pick That's Natural Too
Great Men's Incontinence Aid for Active Guys
A Perky Cotton Pant With Built-In Pad
A Reusable Pant That Maximises Usage
|Style||All-in-one (belted)||Pull-up pant||Pad||All-in-one||Pull-up pant||All-in-one||Pad||Pad||Pull-up pant||Pull-up pant|
|Absorbency Capacity||3400 ml||900-1300 ml||2100 ml||1500 ml||1320 ml||2000 ml||109 ml||338 ml||250 ml||-|
|Size||XL||Small (26-34")||-||-||Medium (28-40"), Large (38-50")||-||-||-||S, M, L, XL, XXL (30-48")||Large (40-42"), others available|
Incontinence can occur to any of us at many different stages in our lives, from pregnancy to illness and everything in between. Whether you want something to help with postpartum comfort or some pads or pants that can double up for use during your period, take a look at our related articles for some help choosing.
Having factored in all that you should and looked at the best options available for you, you're now ready to pick a pad or pant that is tolerable for you and able to help you better manage your toileting difficulties.
Author: David Gbe
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